Monday, January 20, 2014

Virtual tour to 7 power plants

Originally posted on 1/13. On 1/20, you may visit the nuclear power plant. Don't click at "i" buttons which make the facility explode.

There are 430 nuclear reactors but so far, there has been no comprehensive virtual tour into the nuclear power plants' interior. The dominant Czech power utility company ČEZ is changing that. For seven weeks, it will be presenting a new
virtual tour to one of its power plants (click, main web).

The Štěchovice dam (1945).

On Monday, 10 a.m. Central European Winter Time, they release a new site. The first plant that became available today is the hydroplant in Štěchovice, a dam on the Moldau South of Prague. You may imagine that it is rather low-tech (the dam was built between 1938 and 1944 and completed in 1945 as the second part of the Moldau Cascade) but you should check what the website has to offer (and try to press all the buttons).

The much newer nuclear power plant in Temelín will be released next Monday and it's arguably the most interesting one. Sometimes in 2014 or early 2015, it should be decided whether Temelín will be expanded and whether the American-Japanese or Russian-Czech corporations will be hired to do the job. The semi-state-owned but publicly traded ČEZ seems to demand some minimum price guarantees from the government.

The schedule shows that when all the sites are released, you may compare the appearance and structure of six different technologies (coal appears twice):

Place Type of plant Release date
Štěchovice Water, run-of-river and pumped-storage Jan 13th, 10 am
Temelín Nuclear Jan 20th, 10 am
Janov Wind Jan 27th, 10 am
Tušimice Coal Feb 03rd, 10 am
Hodonín Coal Feb 10th, 10 am
Číčov Biogas/biomass, high-energy plants plus cowshit Feb 17th, 10 am
Buštěhrad Photovoltaic Feb 24th, 10 am

Unfortunately, there's no fusion plant available yet.


  1. Internal schematics of power plants are usually kept from public access to avoid sabotage. There is always a fish-kissing Luddite or political opportunist who hates goal-oriented electrons,.

    "Unfortunately, there's no fusion plant available yet." Stars inform us that fusion is a bucking bronco of plasma hydrodynamics.

    Reverse the polarity of a Geiger-Muller tube, fill with deuterium plus trace of methyl iodide, ramp up the voltage just shy of spontaneous discharge, add radiation. You will fuse deuterium at the central wire. (If we plated that with palladium...)

  2. Hi, a fine concern. But the company has been making real-world tours to these places for some time so everyone who wanted to use the information for sabotage could have done so. This is just a virtual replacement for excursions in the real life.

  3. Off-topic. This is crazy, The Edge has asked its annual Big Question of 173 scientists and our host is not on the panel.

    Also missing are Scott Aaronson, Matt Strassler, Jacques Distler, to name three prominent scientist-bloggers.

    On the other hand, some real lightweights get to bloviate. Worse, they include the two blackest TRF Bêtes Noires !

  4. LOL, thanks, but I wouldn't make it even to the top 1,000 of similarly constructed panels. ;-)

  5. I hope you meant you would have refused to take part even if they had assed you. I find it depressing how few scientists have the integrity to do that.
    It's truly incredible that they have included Woit, whose sole contribution to science is to have written a demagogic polemical book for the scientifically illiterate.
    It's the kind of thing that makes me wish I had access to a time machine.